Colossus (Legacy of the Void)
- This article is for the Legacy of the Void multiplayer version. For the Heart of the Swarm version, see Colossus (Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm).
It is built at the Robotics Facility after a Robotics Bay is constructed. Its dual Thermal Lance weapons target units in an area of effect, making the Colossus a powerful siege unit that can quickly destroy an enemy's ground forces. Colossi also have the ability to traverse cliffs and provide vision of high ground areas. However, the Colossus' enormous height also allows anti-air attacks to hit them; care must be taken with Colossi to make sure units like Vikings or Corruptors do not pick them off in battle. The Extended Thermal Lance upgrade gives the Colossus an impressive attack range of 9, which allows them to attack while standing behind their support army.
The Colossus is a heavy support unit, that deals large amounts of damage over an average sized area. The massive battle strider is virtually unmatched in damage output, capable of obliterating large amounts ground forces within seconds.
Getting the Extended Thermal Lance upgrade is considered standard in all match ups, as the extra range grants it an edge over most other ground units, allowing it to fire from a safe distance - while being relatively safe itself. It is merely outranged by the Terran Siege Tank when in it's immobile siege mode. This and the cliff walk ability allow the Colossus to kite ground units, using the terrain to one's advantage. Most units will not be able to pursue correctly microed Colossi, without taking high amounts of damage, or dying in the process.
The Colossus' main weakness is its additional vulnerability to air attacks. Vikings, Corruptors, and Void Rays deal bonus damage to massive and/or armored units, of which the Colossus is both. As airborne units - Vikings, Corruptors, and Void Rays may also abuse their agility to flank the Protoss army, effectively negating the powerful positional advantage that Colossi are able to award. Hence, a Colossus-heavy army needs to be bolstered with appropriate numbers of anti-air support, in order to combat aerial threats.
Unlike its spiritual predecessor, the Reaver, Colossi have very limited potential as harassment units. Mining workers will generally not line up in a manner, that would allow for multiple hits, thereby significantly decreasing the effectiveness of its primary weapons. Also, it's slow speed make the usage of a Warp Prism mandatory, increasing the cost of investment even further, alongside the risk of losing both units during the long travel time between bases.
The Colossus synergizes well with Sentries and Stalkers. Force fields can be used to block off and/or trap impeding enemy ground units - allowing for maximized splash damage - while Stalkers provide for anti-air support and act as a meat shield (alongside Zealots), absorbing incoming damage; the blink ability may be used to further increase damage absorption. With its height, the Colossus is able to reveal areas atop cliffs, enabling allied units fire upwards on to high ground, as well as Stalkers to Blink to targeted locations, which would otherwise be covered by fog of war.
As a rule of thumb, it is possible to sustain continuous Colossi production with double Robotics Facilities - per one mining base; so long no Chrono Boost is used.
In PvP Colossi are typical in any mid-game ground army; they are fragile if caught alone, but are able to provide critical support fire from long range as part of a strong army. Although Immortals can kill Colossi very quickly, the range upgrade enables Colossus to out-micro and considerably out-range Immortals, which can prevent Immortals from engaging before they are picked off. The Protoss ground army lacks a strong counter to a Colossi without utilizing some Colossi of their own, though Stalkers with Blink and air units can be effective in some situations. Colossi are also vulnerable to Tempests, as they outrange the Colossus significantly and deal triple damage due with every attack since the Colossus is a massive unit.
Colossus use against Terran is pivotal to the match-up. After the first Immortal, Protoss users tend to produce Colossi continually from one Robotics for the remainder of the game. Without the use of Colossi or Psionic Storm, Marine/Marauder/Medivac armies are nearly impossible to stop. However, with the aid of Colossi they become vastly easier to deal with. When using Colossi against Terran, you must prepare for a Viking counter, generally by having a sufficient number of Stalkers to shoot down the Vikings before they can significantly damage your Colossus force.
Colossi are also less vulnerable to the Ghost's EMP Round than Immortals or High Templar, as they neither depend on energy for damage nor rely on their shields to protect themselves. Hence, Colossi are generally used as the core unit of a Protoss Army when dealing with a large Terran ground force.
Against a Zerg, Colossi are incredibly effective in battle if the opposing player decides to make Hydralisk, Zergling or Baneling heavy armies. While not as cost effective against Roaches as their heavy-fire counterpart, the Immortal, smaller amounts of Colossus are still capable of dealing with moderate amounts of Roaches with Sentry and Stalker support, while critical numbers of Colossus can kill larger masses of Roaches very swiftly. Furthermore, Colossi are less effective than Immortals when dealing with Ultralisks in late game, but are still quite capable as support fire to protect units from masses of lower-tiered units. Use of Colossi in PvZ depends on how the Zerg plays; massing Colossi against Muta/Ling play is inefficient (though still relatively effective), but against Hydralisk/Roach heavy Zerg, they are almost essential. In combination with Force Field, Colossi with the range upgrade can safely outrange Hydralisks and Roaches that are blocked by the Forcefield wall. Like when playing Terran, you must be prepared to deal with Corruptors when playing against a Zerg.
- Colossus's sounds (video and sound) - YouTube video.